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What Matthews Must Do To Beat Specter

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Five Thirty Eight is reporting that Chris Matthews is hiring staff for a Senate run against Republican Arlen Specter in 2010.

Polling puts Specter ahead by quite a bit in the polls, but that's probably not going to be Matthews' biggest problem.

With the Democrats just shy of 60 votes in the Senate needed to prevent a filibuster, Specter is in position to be a key vote in the passage of critical legislation.  He'll be able to barter his cloture vote for, say, Employee Free Choice or Healthcare in exchange for the the support of key Democratic constituencies that Matthews would need to win in that state.

There were 830,000 union member in Pennsylvania in 2007.  It would be easier to take the working over that the Chamber of Commerce is likely to give him than have close to a million people organizing against him, so my guess is Arlen Specter -- who is notorious for for being "only there when you don't need him" -- will suddenly discover some heretofore unknown steel in his spine and hold on that vote.

Matthews, on the other hand, doesn't seem to know what Employee Free Choice is -- beyond his ability to spread GOP propaganda (see his YouTube with Howard Dean, below). 

Employee Free Choice is becoming the new gay -- the issue that wingnuttia is whipping itself into a frenzy over.  If Matthews is indeed exploring a run, he needs to quickly bone up on this issue and figure out why the stakes are so high for millions of working people.

Matthews has an important forum, and Specter isn't the only one who can deal.

Jane Hamsher blogs at firedoglake.com